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55 Pandora is a fairly large and very bright asteroid in the asteroid belt. Pandora was discovered by American astronomer and catholic priest George Mary Searle on September 10, 1858 from the Dudley Observatory near Albany, NY.<ref name="IAU_MPC"/> It was his first and only asteroid discovery.

It is named after Pandora, the first woman in Greek mythology, who unwisely opened a box that released evil into the world. The name was apparently chosen by Blandina Dudley, widow of the founder of the Dudley Observatory, who had been involved in an acrimonious dispute with astronomer B. A. Gould. Gould felt that the name had an "apt significance".<ref>Lutz D. Schmadel, Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, p.20.</ref> The asteroid shares its name with Pandora, a moon of Saturn.

Photometric observations of this asteroid at the Rozhen Observatory in Bulgaria during 2010 gave a light curve with a period of 4.7992 hours and a brightness variation of Δm=0.22 mag. This is consistent with a period of 4.804 hours and an amplitude of 0.24 obtained during a 1977 study.<ref name="Radeva2011"/>

Recent analysis has identified Pandora as the second-largest of the E-type asteroids, after 44 Nysa.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}


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